World Cup: Brazil 2 Mexico 0 - 5 things you need to know

Neymar (right) of Brazil and Miguel Layun of Mexico in action during the Fifa World Cup 2018 round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Mexico in Samara, Russia, on July 2, 2018.
Neymar (right) of Brazil and Miguel Layun of Mexico in action during the Fifa World Cup 2018 round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Mexico in Samara, Russia, on July 2, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Brazil continue their World Cup march in Russia by dumping Mexico out in the round of 16 after a 2-0 win in Samara. In a tight match which saw both defences marshalled competently, it took a moment of inspiration for Neymar to apply the finishing touch to end El Tri's challenge. For the seventh time in a row, Mexico exit at the second round. For Brazil, they move to the quarter-finals.

1. Goals

Brazil (Neymar 51st minute, Roberto Firmino 89th)

2. The wow moment

After a goalless first-half, Mexico's defence was finally breached when Neymar backheeled the ball for the onrushing Willian. The Chelsea forward peeled left, dragging defenders along with him before drilling the ball low and hard across Mexico's goal. Finally, super goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is stranded and Neymar applies the last touch to guide the ball across the line.

3. The talking point

Brazil have now kept 19 clean sheets in 25 games under Tite. The Selecao may have a reputation for attacking football to live up to and the tactician has flair players like Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho at his disposal. But his backline has been drilled to repel opponents much better than the 2014 vintage could. No more swashbuckling rampages up front a la David Luiz. It is all about discipline now and that has given Brazil confidence to mount an assault for a record-extending sixth world title.

4. The star

It is a tie between Ochoa and Willian. The Mexican goalkeeper cemented his status as one of the best in the business with eight saves against the Selecao. Time and again, Brazil's flamboyant attackers had the individual quality to swerve past markers to shoot but Ochoa is equal to anything thrown at him... apart from low crosses hit beyond his reach. A major part of the Selecao's victory was the ploy to run at El Tri's defence, pulling them out of shape. And Willian was the most impressive man in a yellow shirt, dashing at top speed before cutting in to deliver a cross. It is not easy to outshine Coutinho, Jesus and Neymar but the afro-haired Willian did.

5. What the result means

For the seventh time, Mexico's World Cup ends in the second round. They gave us memorable moments in Russia, especially that 1-0 win over Germany and their awesome team spirit. But they simply could not outfox Tite, who spent a year studying tactics and training methods in Europe. Brazil will now meet either Belgium or Japan in the quarter-finals and they will be determined to redeem themselves after their shambolic end to the 2014 World Cup.